Sunday, February 26, 2017

R.I.P. Bill Paxton

Well this well and truly sucks. Actor Bill Paxton, star of Weird Science, ALIENS, Near Dark, Predator 2 and many, many other films, died February 25 at age 61, which is much, much too early to go.

Paxton passed away Saturday from complications arising after heart surgery. Damn.

I first saw Paxton in ALIENS way back in 1986, and have been a fan of his work ever since. He brought an energy and intensity to every role, no matter how minor. I always enjoyed seeing him pop up onscreen, as he could make even a less-than-great movie watchable.

I think my favorite Bill Paxton performance is in the little-known cult film The Dark Backward. In it, Paxton plays Gus, the disgusting, overbearing, accordion-playing best friend of Judd Nelson's Marty Malt character. Trust me on this one— after you see him in this film, you'll never look at him the same way again. Check it out of you get the chance or can even find it!

I've had encounters with a few of the actors from ALIENS over the years, but sadly I never got the chance to meet Bill Paxton. Those who met him and worked with him had nothing but good things to say about his friendliness, energy and positivity. There are no scandals or bad stories about him to be found anywhere, which makes me happy.

Paxton is survived by his two children and his wife of thirty years, Louise Newbury. THIRTY YEARS! It's rare for ANY couple to stay together that long these days. For a Hollywood couple to be married that long is practically unbelievable.

Paxton also starred as the villainous John Garrett in Season 1 of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson on the show, had this to say of Paxton: 
"We just hit it off like old pals. I think he had that affect on a lot of people. We stayed friends. You say you want to stay close but this is a nomadic business and you hit it off and but may not see them again despite any promises. He left the show after season 1 and I showed up for work next season and they said Bill is in your trailer. People don’t do that. That doesn’t happen. He ended up doing Training Day on the same lot and I’d get to work and they’d say Bill is in makeup he’s waiting for you. He was just the most incredible friend. He would come by all the time and we would just hang out.”
Here are just a few of the many films Paxton starred in:
The Terminator (as the Punk Leader), Weird Science (as uber-bully Chet Donnelly), Commando, ALIENS (as Private Hudson), Near Dark (as Severen), Navy Seals, Predator 2 (as Jerry Lambert), The Dark Backward (as Gus), Boxing Helena, Tombstone (as Morgan Earp), True Lies (as Simon), Apollo 13 (as Fred Haise), Frank & Jesse (as Frank James), Twister (as Bill Harding), Titanic (as Brock Lovett), A Simple Plan, Mighty Joe Young, U-571, Frailty, Spy Kids 2: Island Of Lost Dreams (as Dinky Winks), Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Thunderbirds, Million Dollar Arm and Edge Of Tomorrow aka Live, Die, Repeat (as Master Sergeant Farell).


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